MAINTAINING A HEALTHY SCALP There are many scalp problems that itch and produce scales and white flakes. Psoriasis is one of the tough ones. Unless you get it diagnosed and get treated it will not go away. Many cosmetic applications may cause allergic dermatitis or irritant contact dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis or commonly called eczema can also appear on the scalp. While this can be a very serious condition if left untreated, this problem is less common than the number one hair related condition. Seborrheic dermatitis is actually a scalp problem that mimics the most common hair problem of all; dandruff.
With dandruff, the white flakes we see are skin cells. Our skin regenerates itself every month. The new cells travel from the bottom of the skin layer to the top in a month and the dead cells are shed. These are so microscopic and small in quantity that we don’t notice this shedding of cells. In dandruff this shedding increases. That is how these dead cells with skin oils form white flakes and we can see
Although the cause of dandruff is not completely understood, it is currently theorized that one of the main causes is a breakdown of the scalps natural lipid barrier, leaving it more exposed to infection by the microscopic yeast that is commonly found in the scalp. When the yeast overgrows, it leads to an inflammatory response that kills off scalp cells at a high rate, which in turn slough off in sticky patches and flakes.
Some young teens find they develop dandruff when they hit puberty because their hygiene habits haven’t changed to meet the challenges of newly accelerated sebum production.